Two Weeks on South Beach

My butt runneth over.

It maketh my hips big and resembleth cottage cheese. It forceth me to squeeze into clothing that once fit. It openeth my eyes to a painfully inextricable truth: I am endowed with big booty.
Six months ago I was thrilled and relieved to get “a real job,” one with normal hours and my very own desk. Prepared to take on the world by storm, I settled in and got to work. Month after month the skirts and pants in my wardrobe rotation grew more and more snug. My pants (designed for Women of the Pear) stretched tighter and tighter across my bum. I came to a crossroads. I could buy a pair of fat pants, or get off my ample butrose and do something.

So I became a carb-counting pod person. They frighten me, the people who go into GNC and start ogling low-carb this and high-fiber that. And I became one of them. I turned my back on all I knew and loved (ice cream, chocolate, macaroni and cheese) and shelled out $25 for my scripture: The South Beach Diet. In hopes of reaching the promised land of a thinner body, I went forth into the world and took stock. Starches and glycemic indexes, sugar substitutes and whole grain breads, good carbs and bad carbs: I became a woman obssessed.

On the first day, South Beach delivered unto me the most searing headache imaginable. By day’s end I could barely keep my eyes open from pain and exhaustion. I was incapacitated. I got in bed at 8:30. 8:30 PM. Awesome. What kind of health kick would make you feel like your eyes were pulsing and your head on the brink of explosion? The South Beach Diet. But I had sworn to stick with it. And stick I did. “Phase 1” is the strict phase, the one during which starches are banished and nary a fruit may pass your lips. The one that is supposed to make you drop tons of weight without exercise and banish all sugar cravings from mind and body.

I counted down the days until I could have a Cadbury Crème Egg.

Food consumed me. The entire two weeks of Phase 1, what I wanted to eat (aka what I wasn’t allowed to eat) haunted me. My trusty companions (string cheese, celery, chicken) never strayed from my side. Every morning I had mini quiches made with fake eggs and spinach. In the afternoons I spooned humus straight up into my gullet because bread of any kind was taboo. My daily indulgence of four sugar-free hard candies totaling 40 calories kept me well within my 75 calorie range for sweets. Triumph! Joy! Success!

Headaches, loss of energy, stomach aches, dizziness were nothing to my sense of accomplishment. My stomach was smaller, my cheek bones more prominent, my butt… exactly the same. Two weeks had passed and I had lost four pounds. Four lousy pounds. Yeah, yeah, it’s four less than I weighed before, but for what?

Four stinking pounds and my butt still runneth over.

What’s that you say? Bitterness? Despondency? Defeat? No. My butt may still be big and I may still not be happy about it, but I’ll do my best to muddle through. I’ll try to stretch that pint of Ben & Jerry’s over a week instead of over an episode of Project Runway. I’ll try to do sit-ups in the morning instead of rolling over for 20 more minutes of sleep. I’ll try to walk for 10 minutes during my lunch break instead of eating at my desk and answering the phone. I’ll try to follow all those bits of advice that abound in Cosmo and Self. They sound so easy. They really do. But it can be hard when you’ve put in a 10-hour day, spent two hours on your commute, and made plans to have a life outside of work. But I really will do my best. Because my aspirations are bigger than my butt.

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